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ISS Finals Not Kind To Favourites

Published: October 24, 2010 4:11 pm ET

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Favorites didn’t fare well Saturday, October 23 at Indiana Downs. The Shelbyville track played host to four Indiana Sires Stakes finals for freshman trotters and pacers, with only one bettors’ choice reaching the winner’s circle. With $800,000 in purses at stake, upsets and exciting finishes were guaranteed.

ABC Easter may have been the more successful of the Dan Shetler-trained entry competing in the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old filly trotters, but it was Lakeview Fest, the other half of the favoured tandem, that earned the victory Saturday. Driven by Peter Wrenn, the ABC Garland-Hoosier Fest lass took control after a :30 opening panel and clicked off fractions of :59.2 and 1:29.1 before crossing the wire four lengths in front in 1:58.4. Earls Miss Muffit raced second for Trace Tetrick while B Delightfull and Mark O’Mara were third. ABC Easter broke stride early in the mile and finished ninth.

Twice a winner coming into Saturday’s final, Lakeview Fest is owned by breeder Lester Raber. The winning time established a new lifetime best for the filly. The victory boosted her seasonal earnings to $133,200.

Erv Miller Stable’s Bluebird Elian successfully defended his ISS finals victory from September with a repeat effort Saturday night, collecting a win in the $200,000 final for freshman colt trotters in 1:57.3. The second choice, driven by Marcus Miller, raced mid-pack early (:28.3) before advancing first up through fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.1. The Southwind Elian-Debs Dalliance colt pushed to the lead in the stretch before crossing the wire two and one-half lengths in front of Roydon, driven by Rick Farrington. Favorite C O To Bluegrass and Wrenn couldn’t capitalize on a pocket trip and faded to third.

Bred by Daryl Miller, Bluebird Elian earned his third career victory, taking a new mark in the process. The colt is owned by the partnership of the Erv Miller Stable, John Carver and Leland Mathias. Bluebird Elian now possesses $232,000 in earnings.

The upsets continued in the $200,000 final for two-year-old pacing fillies when Shetler and Radar Contact surged in front of Skyway Firefly, driven by Jason Dillander, to win by a quarter length in 1:55. Dollys Joy, a winner in the first series final, raced a length back in third for Sam Widger. Favoured Rons Blue Angel broke stride turning for home and finished last.

Shetler left from post six with the Radar Contact, clicking off fractions of :27.2 and :56.1. The Charles Stillings-trained filly was soon shuffled to third as Skyway Firefly moved to the top, with Dollys Joy advancing first over. Radar Contact closed with a :30.1 last quarter for co-owners Stillings and Dean Ehrgott, earning her fifth win of the season. Bred by Merle Yoder, the Dontgetinmyway-Topville Cyberwave filly increased her bankroll to $202,515.

The $200,000 final for freshman pacing colts produced an equally close finish as Bay Fishen Doc overtook favorite and leader Flight Elal late in the mile to win by a quarter length in 1:52.4. Starven Darven and Wrenn raced third. Sam Widger steered the Whitefish Falls-Michelles Beauty gelding to victory for trainer Brett Wilfong.

Starting from post five, Bay Fishen Doc got away second as Dave Palone left for the lead from post seven. The favorite set fractions of :27.2, :56.2, 1:24 as Widger sat patiently with Bay Fishen Doc. Turning for home, he made his bid with the gelding, matching strides with Flight Elal in the lane before pulling ahead at the wire. Brett and Candice Wilfong own Bay Fishen Doc in partnership with Lynn and Barbara Wilfong. Bred by Steve Wagler, the gelding earned his third seasonal win and lowered his lifetime best by a full second.

(Indiana Downs)

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